The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
What causes you to feel insecure? What is it that makes you feel as though you are inadequate? That you’ll never measure up?
Wow! Those are questions men don’t like to face. Instead, we think of ourselves as capable, able to handle anything thrown our way. If we feel inadequate, the last thing we want is to let anyone know. So we force out a courage that says, “I can handle it” or “I’m good enough,” when inside our confidence has eroded away.
Men don’t handle these difficult emotions well. When we feel we don’t measure up, we hide behind outbursts of anger or some coping strategy we have devised. We run to “our place” to relieve that tension or hide from the hurt we can’t face. We’ve been doing it for years, and unfortunately, some of those hiding places prove destructive for us.
It’s been a long time since it was socially acceptable to run to mom with our tears. No, “manning up” means we swallow our fears and act like we don’t feel the pain of insecurity or inadequacy. A big brother makes us feel stupid, or more weight or less hair makes us feel less appealing, or a boss leaves us frightened that our job is on the line. Inadequacy comes in many shapes and sizes, and when a man confronts such moments, he has nowhere to run.
So he runs where he’s learned to run–pornography, alcohol, anger, sullenness, or some other hiding place that threatens the best relationships in his life. A couple of swallows of liquid courage, an outburst over someone he can dominate, or a few minutes peering in at women he can choose to ogle lets him lay aside his hurt and create the feeling of dominance again. Even though the feeling last only a moment and is followed by deepening guilt or sorrow for the ones he’s hurting, it’s still the only place he’s learned to run.
A wife who has been hurt by her husband’s choice of pornography often has trouble believing that his behavior isn’t just a sex drive that has rejected her and is out of control. But often it’s something deeper. A wife who’s been victimized by his anger isn’t usually the real target either. Yes, these women are being treated unfairly and have a right to expect and demand much, much, much better behavior from their husbands, but the core issue is often a man’s failure to take his insecurities to a place of healing, rather than hurt.
The good news is that such a place exists. A relationship with God offers us a “friend who sticks closer than a brother.” When we take our hurts to God, He can speak truth and peace into our lives. Check out dozens of the Psalms and you’ll see David learning to bring his worst emotions to God. And, as God takes on the biggest pieces of our pain, we find it easier to begin sharing what remains with men who understand the battle too.
Guys, we weren’t meant to handle life’s demands by ourselves. Such self-sufficiency isn’t in your wiring. So whoever led you to believe you must deal with these feelings on your own misled you and opened the door for many destructive traps in your life. Take your insecurities and your feelings of inadequacy to God, and He will give you the courage and strength you’ll never find in the places you’re frequenting now.